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Friday, May 6, 2016

A Work of Art on Bow Drive

Monday, September 10, 2012

Junior Bierman holds a photo of his dog Chopper, who served as a "model" for the dog who is chasing the raccoon on the tree carving behind him. Photo by Dan Whitney
When Cherokeans Junior and Dorothy Bierman saw that the Pin Oak tree at the front corner of their home at 6 Bow Drive had grown so tall that it was hanging over the house and crowding nearby Ash and Maple trees, they decide the time had come to cut the tree down to size, so to speak. Last spring R & R Tree service did the honors, cutting the tree, which had grown an estimated 70 feet tall by Junior's estimation, down to a point where it was just above the rooftop of the ranch style house.

Over the past year or two,the Biermans had come to know Jeff Klatt, who owns and operates Runaway Saws, a chainsaw carving operation out of Storm Lake, and they approached him about doing a carving on their Pin Oak.

Junior had once seen a bulldog chasing a rag at the top of a pole on the "Stupid Pet Tricks" segment of 'Late Night With David Letterman' and it reminded him of a bulldog named Chopper that he used to own. Chopper had treed a raccoon on one occasion, and Junior presented the idea of a carving of a bulldog treeing a raccoon to Klatt. The artist said that he had never carved a bulldog, so Junior showed him a photo of Chopper, and the project took off from there.

Jeff Klatt then came to the Biermans' home, cut the tree down a bit more, and then carved a raccoon near the top. At that point, he had commitments to appear at the Cherokee County Fair and other venues, but promised he would be back when his schedule cleared.

He returned to the project late this summer, adding the bulldog. Klatt painted the tree trunk with a sealer and also painted the raccoon. but he chose not to paint the dog, so Dorothy's daughter, Lynn Walker, painted "Chopper" white, and the finished piece of art has been standing at the corner of the Bierman's house for 4-5 weeks now - a fitting tribute to Chopper, who "went everywhere" with Junior, according to Dorothy.

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